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Mitts Response to Sandy

November 1, 2012

Mitt Romney has a fundamental leadership problem. He cannot relate to the problems people are presented with in a genuinely caring way. His latest response to the tragedy that is the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was unconscionable. How can you try to compare the clean up efforts of such a devastating event to cleaning up a football field after a game? I’m glad you’ve conducted your food drive – I’m glad your packing and shipping provisions for the states in dire need, but samaritan’s work aside; peoples lives have been devastated, homes carefully made by families destroyed…and Mitt says he can relate to the clean up efforts based on his experience at a high school football game! But, why should we think him more responsible than this in the first place? This is the same man who said FEMA’s work could be more apply done by the private sector. I hope these “undecided” voters are watching who Mitt really is, I hope they see how he will run this country if given the chance – let me help you if your still wondering how he’ll do it folks. He’ll act like a CEO.

CEOs are concerned with the bottom line. They foment the idea of caring for their workforce – they pretend to be moved by the lives of the people who work in their corporate structures. They lie. I know first hand the care and concern of the “private” or better said “corporate” sector. In the words of Gordon Gecko “Greed is good.”

So, as we countdown to Election Day 2012, let’s break the choice down to the bare essentials. The choice is between a candidate who has sought to work with the private, public and legislative interests aligned against him for the greater good of this country; and a life time plutocrat who for all intent and purpose wants to hand this country over to big business.

Decision seems easy to me.

The Wolf In Presidential Clothes

October 26, 2012

I’ve been trying to refrain from posting during this general election cycle, mainly because I am not bi-partisan in this race. No, I’m not reflexively given to vote for the African-American candidate (although I cannot say the same for some of my friends), and I am not always sure that democratic candidates have the right answers to our problems. However, I am not so ambiguous this election. I am sure, and what I am sure of is that Mitt Romney is a wolf at our proverbial door. He is a soulless shell that takes the form of whatever filler will get him the White House. I’m sure of this. I’m sure that he has no intention of defending women – I’m sure that he could care less about the institutionally poor, and socially outcast – I’m sure that he will enrich his generationaly wealthy friends at the expense of the middle-class, and I am sure that if given the chance he would turn back the racial clock in favor of some form of “States Rights” puritanism. I’m sure he is bad for all of us.

However, there is something worse that I am now sure of, and it is an indictment of the people who by their vote will decide the direction of this country. Yes, I am talking about “We the people.” I am sure that we are a cynical lot, I am sure that we do not vote with our heads but by our lower instincts; and I am sure that many of us, no matter the lies Mitt Romney or for that matter his running mate Paul Ryan committ, you will vote for them.

The truth is, I am sad to say, many of us harbor so much blind hatred for our current President, that we will vote against our own interest. We will vote for a man who has confessed he would support overturning Roe v. Wade – who has confessed to a belief in “States Rights” – who will abandon his carefully constructed positions to be seen as an “acceptable” alternative – who supports men who believe that rape is ordained by God and that the rich being taxed 15% up to 35% less than the working poor and middle class is “the right way to build our economy” and for a man whose faith disqualified nearly 35% of the citizens of this nation from access to the grace of God.

The latest confession of this stupidity, the last three debates. Apparently, the only debate that mattered was the first (for some of us), the last three dismantlings of Ryan and Romney made no difference – to some of us. The utter mimicking of President Obama’s foreign policy by Romney didn’t matter – to some of us, because the polls, if we are to believe them, reflect that the only momentum that was really generated was after that first debate. Oh, did I forget to say, that even during that debate Romney wasn’t playing us honest.

This election is going to tell a lot about where we are as a country, whether we are going to be an expansive middle or a polarized nation of have’s and have nots.

Romney is the wolf – I wonder how many of us really are just sheep.

No Grand Jury Justice for Trayvon

April 10, 2012

Yesterday it was announced that the Special Prosecutor provided by the Florida DA’s office would not be laying charges against George Zimmerman before a Grand Jury.

This means 3 things:

1) The Special Prosecutor is having trouble finding grounds to charge Zimmerman. (Reports indicate that there will be NO charges put before the Grand Jury)

2) George Zimmerman cannot be charged with 1st degree murder in the state of Florida. (Without a Grand Jury there can be no charge of Murder)

3) The highest level of charge George Zimmerman (who has yet not been arrested) can stand against will be manslaughter.

We have a problem brothers and sisters; and I’m not speaking in a universal sense. We have a problem in this country black people. There is a crucial confluence of circumstances that are proving that in America black lives are undervalued. I will not sit here and conflate this issue with images of hoodies, although I plan on wearing one in solidarity with National Hoodie Day, the reason George Zimmerman has not been arrested is that Trayvon Martin looked like a Huxtable and not a Brady!

Many of us, who have tried to convey the idea of a post-racial society will be angry at my blunt statement. But they are fooling themselves. Look at this case, and the multitude of problems with its adjudication and tell me that if this was a white child would and Zimmerman a black man, would there not have been an arrest?!

Let me answer for the ones who don’t want to…of course there would have been!

I wrote three weeks ago, this case made me feel like I did in high school contemporary issues. When I saw the picture of Emmitt Till, and read the facts of his murder. The case feels even more like it today. I hope we understand that Emmitt Till’s murder changed the mentality of our elders. That it was the thought in the mind of Rosa Parks when she refused to move.

We need to act. Preachers, we need to act. It is often galvanizing moments that shake us from the dormancy of our routine that produces movement, cultivates leadership and spurs the collective consciousness of a people to advocate for change.

We need to think and push for the permanent elimination of laws like the “stand your ground” statute in Florida. We need to see that organizations like ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) who authored these laws, and the many new laws hindering the voting franchise of African Americans throughout this country are “the enemies of justice” A Phillip Randolph described in his address at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Justice, and we need to understand that Race and Class are still America’s Cancer!

A Tragic Reminder of Injustice

March 22, 2012

On February 26, 2012, African Americans were handed further evidence of the rampant injustice we are subjected to in the as yet un-United States. For on this day, a 17-year old African-American boy named Trayvon Martin was gunned down in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old man.

Zimmerman has admitted to the killing of Martin, but has claimed to have acted in self-defense. Why, because Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, passed some 5-years ago, allows people to use deadly force if they believe they are in danger. Get that now. They only have to feel they are in danger.

That’s right brothers/sisters. All someone has to do in Florida is think you mean them harm and they are legally allowed to KILL you.

This crime in itself is tragic. There is a mother and a father who have seen their child’s life snuffed out. A community is in distress at the apparent cover-up being perpetrated by law enforcement. A nation is stained by new evidence of its deep-seeded racial in-equality. (Just a few months ago, in September, a black man shot and killed a white man who he was in a physical altercation with and who was pinning him to the ground.

That black man was arrested, his case still in the hands of the Florida justice system. Trayvon’s killer hasn’t even been charged.

Let’s look at some facts:

1. Zimmerman was in his car when he saw Trayvon walking on the street.

2. Zimmerman pursued Trayvon against the explicit instructions of the police dispatcher.

3. Before the 911 recording was released, Zimmerman’s father released a statement claiming “at no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin.”

4. Trayvon was carrying a bag of skittles and a ice tea, while Zimmerman had a 9 millimeter handgun.

5. Three witnesses state that they heard the calls for help coming from a boy.

Black people have seen this before. We’ve experienced this with Emmitt Till. We go through the anxiety of walking while black in majority white neighborhoods or driving in certain areas in too nice a car! We are….brothers and sisters…WE ARE/WE COULD BE Trayvon Martin tomorrow. Only now, killing us is legal in 17 states. 17 “Deadwood” like areas where justice is interpreted by individuals feelings and the quickest draw.

6. In the first five years “Stand Your Ground” has been in effect, justifiable homicides have occurred at 3-times their previous rate. The law has been a factor in 93 of the cases. 57 cases were dropped or dismissed. 7 people were acquitted. That’s only in Florida.

In the words of Kool Moe Dee, “It’s the wild, wild west!”

Permanent change comes through consistent effort. – Bakare

Mitt’s Freudian Slip

February 2, 2012

“I’m not concerned about the very poor.” he said Wednesday. “We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich. They’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.” – Mitt Romney

I hope you read that carefully. But if you didn’t let me offer a little perspective. The speaker is one Mitt Romney. The vastly wealthy front runner for the GOP Presidential nomination. A man who contrary to his stump speech, is beyond all doubts out of touch with the common man.

Let’s go to school on Mitt-ology and dissect Mitt’s callous freudian slip.

  • “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”

That statement alone should disqualify a candidate from any further votes. To be able to say that you are the best qualified to steer the ship of state and look after the interests of it’s citizens and still say you are not concerned about a large portion of its numbers is oxymoronic at best, and at worst the beginnings of schizophrenia. Those two ideas cannot work together. You cannot love the countries people and then say that you are not concerned about the least of them.

  • “We have a safety net there.”

Apparently, Mitt thinks the “safety net” for the poor is enough to live a prosperous life. But don’t tell that to the members of our society who actually have to survive on unemployment and food stamps! At the onset of this recession, in late 2008 I found myself on the unwanted side of a downsizing company. A company that was not in economic constraint, but wanted to get ahead of the financial crisis it foresaw. As a result, after months of seeking employment and seeing my severence end, I had to pull unemployment. It was hardly a fraction of my salary, and in no way could sustain my family.

That is the reality of the working poor and the impoverished of this nation day in and day out Mr. Romney. Exactly how do you plan on fixing the safety net that is so good you don’t need to care about those needing it’s minimal benefit? In fact the man has no plan to lift people out of despair. Instead he would push them further into the quicksand of poverty. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Mr. Romney’s plan for the “ample safety net” would likely:

cut Medicaid $153 billion by 2016, the food stamp program would need to throw 10 million low-income people off their rolls, and poor children’s healthcare would face cumulative cuts of $946 billion through 2021.

Doesn’t sound like Mr. Romney is looking to fix anything. Looks to me like he wants to let all the air out of the balloon. So I agree with Mr. Romney “he isn’t concerned about the very poor.” Or in the words of Queen Marie Antoinette, who I’m sure would empathize with Mr. Romney’s position:

“Let them eat cake!”

The State of Houghton Mifflin

February 2, 2012

Last week our President delivered, before a joint session of Congress, his State of the Union address. The annual report/speech which details the condition of the nation, usually addressed during the speech as “strong”, and the Presidents outline of the nations priorities.

I’d like to offer another such address. I call it The State of our Students Reference Books, but for those of us who remember the manufacturer of our textbooks, I call it The State of Houghton Mifflin. Not to belabor the point, “my fellow Americans the state of Houghton Mifflin is pathetic!”

Today, January 24, 2012 we are experiencing a crime of historical proportion. It began last year, as the emboldened Tea-Party pressed conservative state board of education in Texas approved massive changes to its schools textbooks. Changes designed to put slavery in “a more positive perspective.” Or to put it bluntly, whitewash history. The Tea Party is now seeking to do the same in Tennessee.

According to Slate magazines Alex Pareene, Hal Rounds, spokesmen for the group seeking the changes to the Tennessee texts stated: ” an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another,” and “The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed, to everybody — not all equally instantly — and it was their progress that we need to look at.”

Translation, we need to know that Thomas Jefferson wrote the declaration of Independence but not that he denied that freedom to the slaves he owned. 

 Unbelievable? Yes, the worst of this disgrace – No.

The group is also demanding that: “No portrayal of  the minority experience in history (which actually occurred) shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

What does that mean in actual terms boys and girls? It means that it is conceivable that future generations of this countries youth will never understand the veracity of the prejudice or cruel and vicious nature of our nations race relations. It means that confederate sympathizers will be allowed to cast the civil war as a matter of simple states rights to commerce, without the understanding that such commerce was undergurded by the persecution of a single race of people (Africans)! It means that the white racists will be allowed to cast the Klu Klux Klan as an extreme Christian sect outside of the mainstream instead of a home grown terrorist organization that murdered thousands of black people! While casting the Black Panther Party as a militant and violence prone black nationalist subversive society.

Those are not my imaginations, those are the exact wishes of the Tea-Party group now lobbying and pushing for text book changes in Tennessee.

My fellow Americans, the State of Houghton Mifflin is under-seige!

Dismissed to Late

November 10, 2011

On Wednesday night, Penn State’s Board of Trustees made it official and dismissed Joe Paterno as their University’s football coach.

I will not detail the gruesome charges listed against Jerry Sandusky that caused the ouster of the 84 year old football coach, however, it is evident that he was in possession of information that could have been used to ensure that nothing like what Sandusky had been doing could happen again on his watch. That alone is enough for his firing, however, what looms even more troubling is the fact that Paterno and his family are “devastated” at the firing. Frankly speaking, I would have been devastated if he were retained.

As a coach, one of the responsibilities I hold most sacred is the safety and well-being of the children in my charge. If you read the testimony of the graduate assistants eye witness account of Sandusky having anal sex with his 10 year old victim, there can be no doubt that the sacred trust a coach is given by a child’s parents was violated. 

Why is that not seen? Why is that not the topic of media discussion?

I read and watched the student protesting Paterno’s firing and could not help but think – when does a game trump the worth of  a child? The answer of course is NEVER. But these students apparently aren’t being taught that. There is a amazing double standard at work in our society, where there is public and vociferous outrage over the firing of a man who did not see the need to call the police in the face of a criminal accusation, but not so much for the 8 young boys he abused over 15-years.

The students women and men alike were rioting in the street. Turning over cars, vandalizing property in support of at best a callous passing of the buck, and at worse a blatant organizational cover up.  To those supporting his continued employment at Penn State I tell you that Paterno was dismissed to late – at least for those 8 children who Sandusky was able to come into contact with because your hero didn’t follow through and call the authorities himself!

Paterno does not deserve this adulation. The report made public is 23-pages long, and nearly every page is more revolting than the last. The revelation of that report alone should have given “Joe Pop” the sense to know he needed to resign immediately. But no, he doesn’t prove himself the ethicist we were led to believe over his 46 year career. He decides to finish the season and retire. Stating that the Penn State’s Board of Trustees

“should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address.”

A statement spoken by a man who perceives himself above the authority that judges everyone else.  What greater matters can a Board of Trustees have then this? Nothing short of a murder.

I am not a court appointed judge.

I am not constrained by the letter of the law.

I have made my decision on this matter.

Jerry Sandusky was Joe Paterno’s heir to the throne – he resigned a year after police investigations of his relationship to “Victim 6”! He was then allowed to continue to work in a charity that catered to 5 – 15 year old boys – still given access to the school facilities and was again seen abusing a boy in 2002 under “Joe Pop’s” supposedly watchful eye. An eye which looked the other way after following the narrowest letter of  law.

You knew Joe . You heard the allegations – you are an institution in that valley, don’t tell me the King has no ears.

Good riddance Joe!